The pattern of leisure time sport activity was estimated by retrospective recalls and expressed in terms of an annual sport activity score. The activity score was related to the development of maximal aerobic power during the period of late adolescence in German children. Both girls and boys reduced their activity pattern from 14 to 18 years of age, boys more than girls. At each age boys were more active than girls. A slight tendency towards better fitness with increased habitual physical activity was noticed, but many sedentary children exhibited a good performance capacity and some children with a high level of leisure time sport activity were characterized by a low level of maximal aerobic power. A statistical analysis revealed that the observed tendency to better fitness with increased habitual physical activity could be explained by an age factor with no additional effect of variation in sport activity score.